Spotify has still not enabled AirPlay 2 in its iPhone and iPad app, nearly six months after last promising to support the feature.
"Spotify will support AirPlay 2 and we're working to make that a reality," a Spotify spokesperson informed MacRumors in early August, in response to a Spotify Community forum post that said the company had paused plans to support the feature.
The streaming music service has not provided an update on its AirPlay 2 plans since, and it did not respond to requests for comment this week.
Apple launched AirPlay 2 in 2018 with several improvements over the original version of AirPlay, including support for multi-room audio, Siri voice control, and improved buffering. Apple is not preventing Spotify from supporting AirPlay 2 and offers documentation on its developer website for apps that wish to implement the feature.
Amazon has dropped the price of the 2021 32GB Apple TV 4K, available for $159.99, down from $179.00. This discount will be seen after a $10 coupon is automatically applied at the checkout screen.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
The Apple TV 4K is available for the usual free Prime shipping options, and it's in stock and ready to ship today. Amazon's sale is a solid second-best price on this Apple TV 4K, coming about $10 behind the record low price we saw over the holidays.
You can also get the 64GB Apple TV 4K for $189.98, down from $199.00. We've seen this Apple TV 4K discounted by an additional $10, so this sale is a second-best price. This model is also sold by Amazon, and it's in stock and ready to ship today.
Although the sales on these Apple TV models aren't particularly steep, they are the best offers around and worth checking out if you're still on the market for the newest Apple TV 4K. You can keep an eye out on Apple TV deals in our Best Apple TV 4K Deals guide.
Telsa car owners who have auto insurance through the electric vehicle company are now able to link their Tesla insurance cards directly to Apple Wallet, providing more accessible access to the cards on the iPhone and Apple Watch.
As part of an update to the Tesla app yesterday on the App Store, the company has introduced support for Apple Wallet into its app. Tesla car owners will be able to add their insurance card to Apple Wallet by heading into the app, tapping their profile photo, heading into Account, Insurance, Manage Tabs, and Documents.
New Version Detected: 4.5.0 Changelog is: - Tesla Insurance policy holders can add their insurance card to Apple Wallet
— Tesla App Updates (iOS) (@Tesla_App_iOS) January 25, 2022
Tesla launched its own insurance offerings in California several years ago, and began to expand to additional states late last year. Tesla insurance is now available in a handful of states, with the company saying it hopes to offer it in most U.S. states by the end of the year as it gains approval on a state-by-state basis.
In states other than California, Tesla offers insurance based on real-time collection of driving data, determining premiums by factoring in how much you drive and a Safety Score that incorporates five different factors to gauge how safely you drive.
The Tesla app can be found for free on the App Store [Direct Link].
Apple will report its earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2021 on Thursday, and it could be the best quarter in the company's history.
Wall Street analysts on average estimate that Apple will report revenue of $118.3 billion for the quarter, according to Yahoo Finance. This figure would be an all-time quarterly revenue record for Apple, topping the $111.4 billion that it earned in the year-ago quarter.
New products on sale during the fourth quarter included iPhone 13 models, Apple Watch Series 7 models, the sixth-generation iPad mini, the ninth-generation iPad, third-generation AirPods, and redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple also made the HomePod mini available in three new colors and released a polishing cloth.
Apple has reported strong earnings results throughout the pandemic, as its devices and services have been in especially high demand as more people have worked, learned, and connected with others remotely over the last two years.
Apple will report its earnings results on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. A conference call with Apple's CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri will follow at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. As usual during the pandemic, Apple did not provide its own guidance for the quarter.
Apple today announced the 2022 "Shot on iPhone" challenge, encouraging users to submit impressive photos shot with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max's macro mode.
To enter, users must share their macro photos on Instagram, Twitter, or Weibo with the hashtags #ShotoniPhone and #iPhonemacrochallenge. In the caption, users should note which model they used to capture the image. Apple is also accepting entries via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entrants can submit unedited macro photos straight from the camera app, but photos edited through Apple's Photos app or third-party software will also be accepted. Participants must be 18 years of age or older, and the challenge is not open to Apple employees or their immediate families.
When submissions close, a panel of expert judges will review the photos from around the world and select 10 winning entries. Winning photos will be celebrated on Apple's Newsroom, website, Instagram account, and more. Apple also said that winning photos may appear in the company's digital campaigns, such as in Apple Stores or on advertising billboards.
Submissions are open from today until February 16, 2022. Winners will be notified on or close to April 12, 2022.
The Indian government is planning to incentivize the creation of an "indigenous" mobile operating system to rival iOS and Android, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has announced (via The Economic Times).
The proposal, announced on Monday by Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, will encourage the technology industry to create a homegrown Indian mobile OS. The new OS is explicitly intended to "create an alternative to iOS and Android" in India. Chandrasekhar noted that iOS and Android drive the development of hardware ecosystems, which is something that the government hopes the new platform will mirror, giving an Indian brand space to grow.
The Indian government is in the process of looking for suitable startups and academic institutions that are capable of developing a new OS. Detailed discussions are currently focusing on establishing clear goals for the project, which will be followed by legislation to target specific development aims. Chandrasekhar hinted that start-ups and companies working on an Indian OS may be attractive to domestic and foreign investment when raising capital.
The project fits in with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aim to create domestic leaders across multiple industries and product categories, as well as bolster the country's technology industry. The Indian government has unveiled a roadmap to achieve $300 billion worth of electronics manufacturing in the country by 2026, up from $75 billion currently. Likewise, the country hopes to achieve $120 billion in electronics exports, up from $15 billion at present.
India is an increasingly important market to Apple, but it continues to face fierce competition from Android devices in the country. Apple has steadily increased the number of its devices manufactured in India, with up to 70 percent of all iPhones sold in the country being made there.
Twitter continues to work on a new feature that lets users post certain tweets to a limited number of close friends in a parallel timeline on the social media platform.
Previously floated in July 2021 as "Trusted Friends," the feature is now called "Flock," and will allow users to limit their audience for specific content to no more than 150 people, according to screens uncovered by mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi.
When a tweet is sent to your Flock, only people in the Flock can view and reply to it, and a label may appear beneath that tweet that reads: "You can see this Tweet because the author has added you to their Flock." However, if you decide you don't want someone in your Flock anymore, you can boot them out of it and they won't get a notification.
#Twitter continues to work on Twitter Flock by adding an explanation of how it works 👀
ℹ️ You can choose up to 150 people to include in your Twitter Flock 👥 ℹ️ People won't be notified if you remove them from the list 🔕 pic.twitter.com/xtGcDiHgxS
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) January 21, 2022
Before someone sends a tweet, Twitter will show an option to select its intended audience, allowing users to post it to all of Twitter or only to those in their Flock. In that sense it has similarities with Communities, a feature Twitter launched last year that lets people share discussions on a specific topic.
Flock is still in beta, so it's not clear when the feature will go live for all users, but Twitter has been working on it since at least July of last year. Flock shouldn't be confused with "Fleets," the ephemeral tweet option that was designed to compete with Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Snapchat, and more. Fleets never caught on with Twitter users and the company canned the feature in August, less than a year after the feature launched.
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly.
As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message: "Request failed with http status code 503."
The developers behind popular note taking app GoodNotes have been seeing the problem frequently enough that they wrote a support document for customers who are running into the error message. The GoodNotes team says that the app automatically retries to connect and thus the issue gets solved eventually, but they're not sure what's causing the connectivity error to begin with.
HTTP 503 is a temporary error code ("Service unavailable") indicating iCloud servers aren't responding correctly to requests from your devices. The error typically gets resolved as GoodNotes automatically retries, but we're getting many reports of the error lingering on, causing sync failures.
This issue is not apparent to us and we've escalated the case to Apple Technical Support team for investigation. It seems it's happening to other apps as well.
Some developers have noted that their apps have worked without issue for years prior to the sudden appearance of the iCloud server issue that is apparently causing the error message. From a developer on Apple's forums:
I have the same issue with a relatively small percentage of my users. They are getting 503 errors now, but last year did not. My code hasn't changed. I'm not even sure how to file a bug report because I cannot replicate the issue on my devices and it's occurring on a relatively small percentage of my users.
A handful of developers have been able to get help from Apple engineering, and one was able to change their iCloud container for their developer account to fix the issue, but there appear to be many developers who are still having issues.
Ok, there’s clearly an issue going on with iCloud sync right now affecting a lot of users across many different apps. What’s the best way to report this? Radar? I haven’t made any changes to my app since October and users have just recently started reporting sync failures.
— Becky Hansmeyer (@bhansmeyer) January 24, 2022
Other developers have resorted to building iCloud status dashboard into their apps so customers can see when iCloud is non-functional.
iCloud errors seem to have really increased over the last couple of days. Wonder how many devs have to add these for Apple to I don’t know fix the problems or at the very least publicly acknowledge them. https://t.co/KmukmZkYEu
— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) January 21, 2022
iCloud sync is randomly breaking: https://t.co/WuSzylEtwE
^ A quick write-up on what’s been going wrong for me and others with iCloud of late and — as it turns out — for far longer than people realised. This is not good.
— Craig Grannell (@CraigGrannell) January 24, 2022
iCloud failures are a major problem for app developers because the end user of the app doesn't know that it's an Apple issue, so customers blame the app developers for a non-working sync feature that they have no control over.
I'm pretty sure it started with the release of the new OSs - actually, I am sure I started hearing of iCloud syncing problems with the betas. If I had to guess, I'd say they rewrote something on the client side.
— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) January 24, 2022
Multiple developers have reported the iCloud syncing bug to Apple, but it has gone widely unaddressed based on the number of complaints and the fact that the issue has seemingly persisted for at least the last couple of months. It's likely that the problem popped up with the launch of iOS 15 and its sister updates, and it's not clear when a fix might be available.
Amazon has Apple's 256GB M1 MacBook Air for $849.99, down from $999.00. This sale is only available in Gold, and it's sold directly from Amazon with delivery as soon as January 27 for most residences in the United States.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
In order to see the discount, you'll need to add the MacBook Air to your cart on Amazon. Once it's in your cart, you'll see a $49.01 coupon automatically applied to your order, resulting in a total of $149 off the 2020 notebook.
Final price includes $49.01 taken off at checkout.
Amazon's sale is a solid second-best price for the 256GB M1 MacBook Air, and among the major Apple resellers online only Amazon is offering it at this price. You can find even more discounts on other MacBooks by visiting our Best Deals guide for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. In this guide we track the steepest discounts for the newest MacBook models every week, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often if you're shopping for a new Apple notebook.
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers.
According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Raleigh, Miami, and Dallas, with a full list available on AT&T's website.
AT&T Fiber 2 GIG is priced at $110 per month plus taxes, while the highest-speed AT&T Fiber 5 GIG plan is priced at $180 per month plus taxes.
AT&T is enacting a new "straightforward pricing" policy, which means there are no data limits, no equipment fees, no annual contract, and no "deals" that will see prices increase at 12 months. These high-end plans include AT&T ActiveArmor internet security, "next-gen WiFi support," and HBO Max access.
With the launch of these new multi-gigabit internet plans, AT&T is calling itself the "fastest major internet provider." AT&T intends to continue to expand its faster connection speeds to additional customers, with plans to cover 30 million customer locations by the end of 2025.
Apple's AirPods 2 have dropped to $99.99 on Amazon today, down from $129.00. This is the model with the Wired Charging Case, and they're sold directly from Amazon and are in stock today.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Compared to holiday sales, Amazon's discount today is just $9 off from the all-time low price that we tracked in 2021. If you missed out on any of those end-of-the-year deals, this is a great time to save on the AirPods 2.
In another AirPods-related sale, the AirPods Pro with MagSafe are available for $179.99, down from $249.00 on Amazon. This is a $10 drop from the price we tracked last week, and so far the best deal we've seen in 2022.
Lastly, Amazon has the AirPods Max in Sky Blue for $449.00, down from $549.00. This isn't quite the best price we've ever seen on the AirPods Max, but holiday prices are long gone and this is still a solid deal on the higher-end AirPods Max.
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets.
In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least mid-February. The 14-inch MacBook Pro with the higher-end M1 Pro configuration or the M1 Max chip faces an even longer wait, heading well into at least early March.
With the larger 16-inch model, the baseline configuration is seeing five to six weeks for estimated delivery, with higher configurations seeing shipping dates estimated to be in late February or early March. In the United Kingdom and Canada, the highest-end 16-inch MacBook Pro shows shipping dates of between five and eight weeks on Apple's online store at the time of writing.
There are several reasons for the continued long wait that Apple customers are experiencing with Apple's latest MacBook Pros. Apple has continued to suffer the consequences of a global chip shortage that cost the company $6 billion last quarter, pandemic-related restrictions possibly limiting device production, on top of high demand for the latest laptops given their major redesign.
With the new MacBook Pros, Apple brought back many features highly requested by longtime Mac users, such as additional ports including HDMI, MagSafe, and an SD card slot. Apple also redesigned the MacBook Pros, making them heavier and thicker to accommodate the more powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has ruled that Apple's plan to allow App Store dating apps to use third-party payment methods for in-app purchases does not sufficiently meet the requirements of a previous ruling. As a result, the ACM has hit Apple with an initial 5 million euro fine as a consequence, and fines will continue to be assessed at 5 million euros per week up to a maximum of 50 million euros until Apple complies.
Apple's announced changes fail to "satisfy the requirements," the ACM said today in a press release. "At the moment, dating-app providers can merely express their 'interest'. In addition, Apple has raised several barriers for dating-app providers to the use of third-party payment systems," the ACM added, alluding to the fact that dating apps must first ask and receive approval for a special App Store entitlement to point users to third-party payment methods.
Apple's plan also appears to require developers to choose between offering a third-party in-app purchase option or being able to direct users to outside payment options, and the ACM says Apple must allow developers to offer both options.
Apple must adjust its conditions for access to the Dutch App Store for dating-app providers. In the App Store, dating-app providers must also be able to use payment systems other than Apple's payment system. In addition, dating-app providers must have the ability to refer to payment systems outside of the app. This had been laid down in an order subject to periodic penalty payments that ACM imposed on Apple in August 2021. On December 24, 2021, the court ruled that this part of the order could be published.
One major question about Apple's plans is its intent to continue to receive a commission for in-app purchases made with dating apps, even if the developer uses a third-party payment method. Apple has yet to reveal what the commission will be or how it plans to implement it.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook had previously said that even if developers were to use third-payment methods, Apple would continue to receive a cut for all in-app purchases made but noted that such a system does not yet exist. We've reached out to Apple for comment on the ACM's conclusion and the 5 million euro fine.
First released in the United States a few months ago, Beats Fit Pro are ideal for athletes, with flexible wingtips providing a more secure fit in the ear. The wireless earbuds have similar features as the AirPods Pro, including active noise cancellation with "Transparency" mode, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, an H1 chip for one-tap pairing and automatic switching between Apple devices, Hey Siri support, and more.
Beats Fit Pro will be available to pre-order through Apple's online store, with black, white, stone purple, and sage gray color options. Pre-orders will begin at 3 p.m. in the UK, according to Beats, with pricing set at £199.99 in that country.
Beats Fit Pro also feature up to six hours of listening time per charge, compatibility with Android devices, IPX4-rated water and sweat resistance, a USB-C charging case, customizable silicone ear tips with three size options, and more.
MediaTek has conducted the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7 for "key customers and industry collaborators," paving the way for the wireless network technology to enter mainstream consumer hardware as early as next year, according to the company.
Taiwan-based MediaTek said the demos demonstrated the ability of Wi-Fi 7 to achieve the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be, the official name for the Wi-Fi 7 standard. The company said it also highlighted its multi-link operation (MLO) technology. MLO aggregates multiple channels on different frequency bands at the same time to allow network traffic to still flow seamlessly even if there is interference or congestion on the bands. "Filogic" simply refers to MediaTek's Wi-Fi 7 connectivity portfolio.
"The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications," said Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of the Intelligent Connectivity business at MediaTek. "MediaTek’s Wi-Fi 7 technology will be the backbone of home, office and industrial networks and provide seamless connectivity for everything from multi-player AR/VR applications to cloud gaming and 4K calls to 8K streaming and beyond."
"Faster broadband Internet access and more demanding applications such as higher resolution video streaming and VR gaming are driving demand for Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and soon Wi-Fi 7," said Mario Morales, group vice president, Semiconductors at IDC. "Wi-Fi 7's advances in channel width, QAM, and new features such as multi-link operation (MLO) will make Wi-Fi 7 very attractive for devices including flagship smartphones, PCs, consumer devices and vertical industries like retail and industrial; as service providers begin to deploy a wider spectrum of hotspots across these market segments."
Wi-Fi 7 is said to deliver 2.4x faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6, even with the same number of antennas, since Wi-Fi 7 can utilize 320Mhz channels and supports 4K quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology.
The Wi-FI Alliance says Wi-Fi 7 could provide speeds of "at least 30" gigabits per second (Gbps) and should exceed that to reach 40Gbps, which is the same speed as Thunderbolt 3. As noted by ArsTechnica, Wi-Fi 6 supports speeds up to 9.6Gbps, while its predecessor, WiFi 5, has a max output of 3.5Gbps. Wi-Fi 6 is the marketing name given to 802.11ax technology, which is supported by all iPhone 11 and later models, the newest iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro, and all Macs powered by Apple silicon.
The next step up from Wi-Fi 6 is Wi-Fi 6E. Devices supporting Wi-Fi 6E use a dedicated 6E spectrum with up to seven additional 160MHz channels, while Wi-Fi 6 devices share the same spectrum as other Wi-Fi 4, 5, and 6 devices, and they only operate on two 160MHz channels. Some reports suggested Apple's iPhone 13 series would include Wi-Fi 6E, but the rumors never panned out. Looking ahead, this year's iPhone 14 is expected to adopt Wi-Fi 6E and Apple's forthcoming AR/VR headset is also expected to support it to meet the needs of the high-end, immersive experience it will deliver, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
MediaTek has been involved in the development of the Wi-Fi 7 standard since its inception and is eager to drum up excitement for its Wi-Fi 7 Filogic connectivity portfolio, but the protocol hasn't been finalized by the Wi-FI Alliance yet, so it's difficult to say when consumer devices will actually support it. MediaTek says products with Wi-Fi 7 are expected to hit the market starting in 2023. Regardless, given that Apple has yet to adopt Wi-Fi 6E in any of its devices, support for Wi-Fi 7 is likely to be some way away.
China-based display maker BOE will supply Apple with OLED LTPO displays for the higher-end models of the iPhone 15 lineup in 2023, according to a new report from The Elec.
Following unsuccessful attempts by the Chinese maker in 2020 to supply displays for the iPhone 12 series, BOE joined Apple's list of display makers to produce panels for the baseline 6.1-inch iPhone 13earlier this year. Apple's higher-end iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max displays, which require more advanced technology, are made by Samsung.
According to today's report, BOE is looking to expand its ability to manufacture OLED LTPO displays, which enable a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz, in time for the iPhone 15 Pro, expected in 2023. For the iPhone 14 series expected this fall, BOE will continue to supply displays for only the lower-tier handsets while Pro series displays will continue to rely on Samsung and LG.
For the first time since the iPhone X, Apple is rumored to be planning a major redesign of the display on the higher-end iPhone 14 models, including removing the notch. Apple is rumored to be replacing the notch with a hole punch and a pill-shaped cutout at the top of the display for the TrueDepth system and front-facing camera.
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history.
We've shared details on many of these devices before and information on what to expect can be found through the links below or through our dedicated upcoming products guide that walks through everything that Apple is expected to unveil this year.
According to Gurman, most of the new products are expected in the fall months, but there is a possibility that the iMac could come earlier. Apple is planning a spring event in March or April that will see the launch of the 5G iPhone SE, a refreshed iPad Air with an A15 chip, and perhaps at least one Mac.
Apple may use the spring event to bring the M1 Pro chip to another Mac, either a higher-end iMac or Mac mini, but the bulk of the Mac refreshes, which will include a new version of the Mac Pro and an entirely overhauled MacBook Air, are unlikely to happen before the fall.
Gurman speculates that the upcoming iPad Pro will have an M2 chip and wireless charging, features that make it a candidate for a fall launch rather than a spring launch. Apple did, however, submit regulatory filings for nine new iPads and three new iPhone models, so it is possible more than one iPad could be refreshed at the spring event.
Apple had also planned to introduce its AR/VR headset in 2022, but rumors have suggested that the device's debut may have been pushed back to 2023 as there are still issues that need to be worked out.
Apple's spring event last year took place in April, so we could see a similar timeline this year. The spring event will be followed by the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, which will see the launch of iOS 16 and macOS 13, and then in fall, with so many products planned, Apple is likely to hold at least two events.
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative."
But every once in a while even Apple gets it wrong, and a tech company's coherent rationale for the way a product should be designed can translate into end-user irritation, or even a customer's personal hell. Here we take a look back at a handful of Apple's most questionable design decisions in recent memory. See if you agree, and let us know in the comments of any other Apple products that you think didn't live up to their billing.
1. Magic Mouse 2
Announced way back in 2015, the Magic Mouse 2 was heralded at its launch as yet another Apple innovation, due to its touch-sensitive surface that can recognize swipes and gestures as well as clicks. On the face of it, the sleek curves and glossy, seamless top surface of Apple's mouse makes it come across as a paragon of Apple design, until you come to charge it.
In an oft-queried decision, Apple opted to put the charging port on the underside of the Magic Mouse 2, suggesting to many that it had sacrificed usability for design. Arguably, Apple could have located the port on the front edge of the mouse, like most other wired and wireless mice, which would have allowed users to charge it while using it at the same time. But no.
In April 2021, six years later, Apple announced the latest iMac, which boasts various neat functional design tweaks over its predecessors, like the Ethernet port in the charging brick, for instance. The Magic Mouse 2 comes included with the new iMacs and even sports several colors to match the all-in-one machines, but Apple still expects users to flip over their mouse and plug in a Lightning cable, which makes it not only unusable but also slightly pathetic-looking.
Apple's Magic Mouse 2 originally went on sale in the United States for $79 and that's the same price you'll pay for it today.
2. Apple/Siri Remote (2015-2021)
It's hard to downplay the amount of venom that's been aimed at the original Siri Remote since Apple first included it with the Apple TV in 2015, and if you never got to use the thing, that might seem a bit harsh.
After all, it had a clickable touchpad at the top that responded to swipes and gestures for navigating tvOS, and two uncomplicated columns of buttons clearly positioned below for controlling media playback. It even had an accelerometer and doubled as a game controller.
All good, you might think. But in practice, most users agreed it was an absolute clanger and an ergonomic disaster. The consensus was that Apple's Remote design was too small and too thin, which meant when it wasn't making your hands look worryingly huge it had got lost down the back of the sofa or between the cushions.
Then there was its non-intuitive button layout, which could be gauged best by the level of frustration that attended mistakenly pressing the Siri button to get back to the menu. Even now, few will have forgotten the very high sensitivity of the glass touchpad that sometimes made onscreen navigation a bit like watching Olympic curling.
How to charge your Apple TV Siri Remote:
1. Attempt to plug the Lightning cable into the infrared port.
2. Turn the remote around and plug the Lightning cable into the Lightning port. pic.twitter.com/MBhrg6Ogwm
— ᴺᴼᵀ Jony Ive (@JonyIveParody) August 30, 2020
All of this of course assumed you hadn't been holding it backwards, which almost every user did on at least a weekly basis. Thanks to its uncompromising symmetry, one end of the remote was practically indistinguishable from the other in low light. Not only that, the Remote only came in black and had no backlighting to speak of, as though Apple had intentionally set out to make locating it in the dark some kind of twilight challenge.
In a move that likely saddened no-one, Apple banished the Siri Remote to the annals of tech history in 2021 when it unveiled the latest Apple TV 4K and a much-improved, all-new Siri Remote with a new clickpad interface offering five-way navigation.
3. Apple Pencil (1st Gen)
Another device that falls into the goofy-looking-when-charging category is the first-generation Apple Pencil, which was released in 2015, the same year as the Magic Mouse 2. Apple built a male Lightning connector under the cap that allows it to be plugged into an iPad for power, which sort of makes sense if you think about it.
In most situations when the Apple Pencil runs out of power, there's an iPad right there to plug it into, and to be fair, it charges pretty fast, offering around 30 minutes of usage after being plugged in for only 15 seconds. In that sense, it just works. But there's no getting around the fact that also just looks weird.
This could arguably be a case of Apple choosing function over form, but it doesn't appear to have taken into account the potential damage that could be inflicted on both devices if you accidentally wack the pencil on something when it's plugged in. How many iPad Lightning ports have been killed as a result remains unknown.
When the Apple Pencil is plugged in and charging, you obviously can't charge your iPad (unless you plug the pencil into an iPhone, say) and unless you're using the iPad in landscape orientation, it makes using your tablet awkward. In other words, you can't charge the pencil and the tablet at the same time.
Apple still sells the first-generation Apple Pencil for $99, but thankfully it adopted magnetic charging for the second-generation version, thus restoring a partial sense of harmony to the iPad lineup.
4. AirPods Max Smart Case
When Apple unveiled its $599 high-end AirPods Max over-ear headphones in 2021, there was as much online chatter about Apple's included Smart Case as the headphones themselves.
Apple says the case is designed to put the AirPods Max into an "ultra-low power state that helps to preserve battery charge when not in use." Granted, that's useful when your headphones don't come with a proper off switch, but it's the odd look of the case that seems to trigger unusual associations in the mind.
The Smart Case quickly birthed an avalanche of memes, which have irreverently compared it to all sorts of things, from handbags to lingerie, and even body parts. Bra comparisons aside though, most would agree that Apple seems to have de-prioritised the practicalities of travel in its pursuit of iconic fashion. Nilay Patel, writing for The Verge:
I have no idea what's going on with the AirPods Max case, which is a goofy one-piece contraption that's folded and glued over on itself to form a case. It looks very much like a purse when wrapped around the headphones, which is at once fun and clever and also not the point of a headphones case that needs to survive in a backpack. It does not appear very protective, feels like it will get dirty fast, and generally does not hold a candle to the nice hard cases that come with almost every other set of premium headphones.
You'd think that a case that comes with a pair of premium headphones provides them with protection when tossed into a backpack, but when it comes to Apple's Smart Case, many users would urge you to think again. The lack of coverage offered by the case material leaves the headphone's metal so prone to scratches that you'd be forgiven for erring on the side of caution and carrying them in your hand instead for everyone to see. And maybe that's the point.
5. Butterfly Keyboard (2015-2019)
Apple in 2015 and 2016 introduced updated keyboards for its pared-down MacBook and MacBook Pro machines, debuting new butterfly keys with home switches beneath each key that minimized thickness without losing that satisfying press under the fingers. Sadly, it wasn't long before Apple's butterfly keyboard was called out as one of the company's worst design decisions thanks to their rage-inducing penchant for failure.
All butterfly keyboards in MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air models introduced between 2016 and 2019 (and 2015 in the case of the MacBook) had butterfly keys that simply couldn't stand the test of time. The mechanism was so delicate and fragile that the tiniest piece of grit could break a key. What made things worse was Apple's laptop construction, which meant replacing that single borked key required taking your MacBook to an Apple repair center where the entire machine had to be completely disassembled.
In 2016, instead of replacing the keyboard wholesale, Apple introduced a second-generation version, suggesting the issues had been fixed. However, broken keys continued to be reported, much to Apple's chagrin. Rather than admitting defeat, however, Apple continued to beat its favorite dead horse by tweaking the butterfly mechanism in successive machines released in 2018 and 2019. But the complaints didn't go away.
In May 2018, a spate of class action lawsuits were brought against Apple on behalf of users who had been affected by broken butterfly keys and were angry that Apple had refused to honor its warranty obligations and fix the keyboards for free.
A month later, Apple implicitly acknowledged the issues when it launched an "extended keyboard service program," for MacBooks equipped with butterfly keys, and in May 2019, the program was expanded to encompass all MacBook models equipped with a butterfly keyboard, although an outright admission that it had put its faith in a bad design was never forthcoming.
In a notable swipe at Apple for its refusal to accept its design was intrinsically flawed, the Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern published an editorial typed up on one of the defective keyboards, but without corrections. The article went mainstream, publicly embarrassing Apple.
We'll likely never know how widespread the keyboard problems were, but we do know Mac users breathed a collective sigh of relief when Apple unveiled the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro with a redesigned "Magic" keyboard with a scissor switch mechanism featuring 1mm of travel, an inverted "T" arrangement for the arrow keys, and a physical Escape key next to the Touch Bar.
6. Mac Pro (2013-2019)
"Can't innovate, my ass," remarked Apple's Phil Schiller during the announcement of the redesigned Mac Pro in 2013. It was a moment of on-stage hubris that would go down in Apple lore, on par with Steve Jobs' "You're holding it wrong" in the face of iPhone 4 antenna issues. Schiller's snipe was directed not at the audience in attendance, but at armchair critics who pointed at the existing Mac Pro's lack of upgrades and claimed Apple had largely abandoned its pro user base and was out of ideas.
Apple believed its radical vision for the future of the pro desktop proved the naysayers wrong. Indeed, despite its relatively niche market compared to the appeal of its other smash-hit products, Apple was showing it had gone to great engineering lengths to innovate. And innovate it had. Apple said its new Mac Pro offered twice the overall performance of the previous generation while taking up less than one-eighth of the volume, thanks to its unified thermal core. Everything inside was cooled by one large fan at the top, which could spin more slowly than smaller fans and keep the Mac quiet under heavy load.
Phil Schiller unveiling the redesigned Mac Pro in 2013
Intel Xeon processors were twinned with dual AMD FirePro workstation GPUs, enabling the machine to deliver seven teraflops of computing power. But while the powerful hardware and the black aluminum cylinder that housed it all was unmistakably Apple-esque in its ambitions, there were notable concerns. Everything was cleverly designed to improve thermal dissipation, but that meant expansion had to be served externally by Thunderbolt 2 ports.
Most creative pros couldn't overlook its lack of internal slots to upgrade graphics cards and add more memory. Even Apple seemed unsure how to update its internals – as recently as 2019, it was possible to buy a trashcan Mac Pro from Apple without hardly an update in the six years since its release.
Days since Phil Schiller said “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass” and revealed a new Mac Pro: 1,351
Days since the last Mac Pro update: 1,351
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) February 20, 2017
Apple was all too aware of the criticism its Mac Pro redesign had attracted, and ended up doing something out of character. The famously secretive company hardly ever reveals its plans for new products, but felt it had to assuage growing concerns from the Mac's pro base that the company had lost its way.
At a meeting with reporters in 2017, Apple executives apologized and admitted the 2013 Mac Pro model had been a mistake, having been designed into a thermal corner. To rectify the situation, Apple promised a new modular Mac Pro system more akin to its traditional "cheese grater" tower design, a new external display, and a new iMac Pro model for professional users. This time Apple did deliver on its promises, and the "trashcan" Mac Pro was laid to rest in 2019.